Say hello to my little friends:
My! What cute little plants, you might say. Or perhaps more likely, “Reese, what do bougie Pinterest-inspired home decor trends have to do with a healthier, environmentally friendly lifestyle?”
Great question. And the answer starts with your most commonly frequented environment, fellow homo sapiens: your house.
Did you know formaldehyde (which is thought to cause cancer) is a common ingredient in building materials from insulation, glues, gas stoves, and fire retardants? Benzene (an irritant and well known carcinogen) is found in paint, detergent, rubber, and outdoor air pollution? And that’s just the tip of the toxic VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) iceberg. GROSS. You are BREATHING that shit, my friends.
And more importantly,
so is your dog.
So, while eliminating the source of such toxic compounds in our breathing spaces is the ideal solution, that’s also not exactly feasible for most of us. Especially not those of us who are freelance photographers.
Thus: adorable VCO crime-fighting plantalones!
While all indoor plants help improve air quality and remove toxins from your home, air plants are particularly adept at this filtration since they collect all their nutrients from the air anyway. Not only will a decorative shrubbery or two improve your air quality to the extent they’re recommended by NASA, but they also work wonders for your mood and emotional health. So pour yourself a bourbon and grab a bonsai, y’all!
My plantalones are so happy, they actually outgrew the above pictured awesome votive holder I snagged at the Habitat Restore for $10. (Do I get bonus points for thriftiness inspiring a love of consignment decor items?)
Since the original draft of this post, I've relocated them to Rachel Gordon's sustainable Grit and Grace oyster shell planters, and every time I walk into my living room, the sight of their funky, spiky leaves nestled in oyster shells makes me smile.
As with all living things, you should read about the proper care of air plants here, and also make sure you're getting ones that are sustainably supplied and not rudely stripped from their natural habitats - we need them out there doing their work in the wild, too.